Rebuttal to Derik Adams's Article "Are there Prophecies of Muhammad in the Bible?"


 Bassam Zawadi



Derik Adam's response to my article can be found here. 

What does Answering Islam do when their main author, Sam Shamoun, keeps rehashing the same arguments and keeps getting his arguments refuted or when their webmaster, Jochen Katz, puts forth ridiculously annoying hair-splitting arguments against Islam that Muslims find absurd? Well, they bring in new authors like Derik to write for them. 

However, it would have been more logical for Answering Islam to actually bring in someone whose arguments are at least not as bad as theirs. Derik now wants to make a good name for himself amongst his Christian friends, and he will probably succeed. We notice that the worse the arguments put forth by someone against Islam (e.g., Ali Sina, Robert Spencer, and their likes), the more famous they become than those who put forth more scholarly arguments (e.g., Joseph Schat, St. Clair Tisdall, and their likes). From now on, we would like to tell Derik that he will become really famous, but he better not take it as a compliment. 

Derik Adams said: 

First, I don't intend to comment on everything Zawadi has said in his article, since it should be obvious to most readers that he hasn't adequately addressed anything that David has said. 

My Response: 

Ah yes, the classical appeal to belief fallacy where Derik thinks that he can simply brush aside the arguments I put forth in my article by appealing to the opinions and beliefs of others towards them without realizing that their opinions and beliefs could be wrong. 

We would also like to know on what objective basis Derik reached this conclusion. Did he conduct a survey interviewing a proper sample (that is large enough and unbiased), with the results revealing that the majority believed I didn't properly address David's arguments in my article? I strongly doubt it. 

Perhaps it didn't cross Derik's mind that it is not "obvious" to me and several Muslims, so he should be kind enough to offer a detailed refutation to my article instead of making us Muslims more suspicious of his sincerity. Let me tell you, Derik, what I, as a Muslim, think of you right now based on your statement. I think you read my article and couldn't refute most of the points. However, you thought that you could refute some parts of it, which is why you composed this article of yours. That is what I honestly think right now. So, you have boosted my faith and given me confidence that the rest of my arguments, which you are not bothering to address, are good and strong. So thank you for that, Derik. Or can you prove me wrong? If you can, please offer a detailed refutation to my previous article and stop talking trash.  

Derik Adams said:

First, since Zawadi apparently believes that prophecies of Muhammad (in the current Bible) are vague and unprovable because of people textually tampering with the Bible how could some of the original predictions in the Torah and Injeel "remain preserved" in the Bible as he said earlier? That is unless he believes the original predictions were actually vague and unprovable which seems to be contrary to what he is arguing for, since he says that was a later development due to textual tampering. 

My Response:

How is there any contradiction between me saying that the prediction of Muhammad (peace be upon him) to come is there in the current Bible, yet they are vague when looked at along with the other corrupted verses? 

For example, I believe that when Jesus referred to the Comforter to come in the New Testament, he was referring to Muhammad (peace be upon him). However, it is not clear because of the false verses surrounding it. 

What is so difficult to understand regarding this position of mine? I never said that the predictions in fullness have remained preserved in the Bible. 

Derik Adams said:

Furthermore he believes the original Torah and Injeel had explicit prophecies and this is what he means by predictions that were not changed or removed. If you take a look at Surah 7:157 (as David Wood had quoted) an explicit prophecy of Muhammad is said to be in the Torah and Injeel with them.

My Response:

The word "explicit" is not in the verse, so please don't read into it.

Derik Adams said:

This implies an authentic Torah and Injeel existed at least until the 7th century

My Response:

It doesn't have to necessarily mean that the entire true Torah and Injeel existed until the 7th century. 

The only thing that this implies is that a prediction of the coming of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is in the Torah and Gospel (i.e., Old Testament and New Testament) with the Christians and Jews; it does not necessarily imply that their entire scripture is authentic or that what they call Torah and Gospel today is actually the original Torah and Gospel. 

It is also possible that parts of the true Torah and Injeel existed until the 7th century and are not found in the Bible today. 

Why would I say this? I say this because the Muslims and Jews during the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) referred to something that was known as "Torah" back in their days, but we don't find it today in the Bible. 

I will provide several examples of what I mean. 

Narrated by Al Fultaan ibn A'asim: 

 أتشهد أني رسول الله ؟ ، قال : لا ، قال : أتقرأ التوراة ؟ ، قال : نعم ، قال : والإنجيل ؟ ، قال : نعم ، قال : والقرآن ؟ ، قال : والذي نفسي بيده لو أشاء لقرأته ، قال : ثم نشده قال : [ ما ] تجدني في التوراة والإنجيل ؟ . قال : نجد مثلك ومثل أمتك ومخرجك ، وكنا نرجو أن تكون فينا ، فلما خرجت تخوفنا أن تكون أنت ، فنظرنا فإذا ليس أنت هو ، قال : ولم ذاك ؟ ، قال إن معه من أمته سبعين ألفا ليس عليهم حساب ولا عقاب ، وإنما معك نفر يسير ؟ قال : والذي نفسي بيده لأنا هو ، وإنها لأمتي ، وإنهم لأكثر من سبعين ألفا ، وسبعين ألفا ، وسبعين ألفا

Do you bear witness that I am the Messenger of Allah? He said: No. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Do you read the Torah? He replied: Yes. Then the Prophet (peace be upon him) asked: and the Gospel? The man replied: Yes. The Prophet (peace be upon him) then asked: The Qur'an? The man replied: No. The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: By He Whose Hand my soul lies if I will, I would read it. Then the Prophet (peace be upon him) pulled the man and asked: Don't you find me in the Torah and Gospel? The man replied, " We find someone similar to you and your Ummah (community) and from where you were brought up, and we were hoping you would be from amongst us. When you rose (as a Prophet), we feared it would be you. However, we looked and saw that it wasn't you. The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied, asking: Why is that? The man said: From him, there will be 70,000 of his followers from his community who will have no judgment passed on them nor punishment , but you have a simple number of men following you. The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: By He Whose Hand my soul lies, it is me, and it is referring to my Ummah (community). And they are more than 70 thousand, 70 thousand, 70 thousand. (This hadith has been declared authentic by Sheikh Albani in Saheeh Al Muwaarid, page or hadith no. 1765)   

Note how the man informed the Prophet (peace be upon him) that one of the signs of the Prophet to come according to the Torah or Gospel is that the Prophet will have 70,000 followers who will enter paradise with no judgment passed on them. Where do we see this in today's Torah or Gospel? The answer is: Nowhere! Thus, indicating that it has been removed from the text, which in turn implies textual corruption.  

Abdullah ibn Mas'ud is reported to have said:

 عن عبد الله بن مسعود رضي الله عنه قال يؤتى الرجل في قبره فيؤتى رجلاه فتقول ليس لكم على ما قبلي سبيل كان يقرأ سورة الملك ثم يؤتى من قبل صدره أو قال بطنه فيقول ليس لكم على ما قبلي سبيل كان يقرأ سورة الملك ثم يؤتي من قبل رأسه فيقول ليس لكم على ما قبلي سبيل كان يقرأ في سورة الملك فهي المانعة تمنع عذاب القبر وهي في التوراة سورة الملك من قرأها في ليلة فقد أكثر وأطيب الراوي

"While a person is in his grave, The first place to start with punishment is his feet, yet his feet prevent this by saying: "You cannot punish me in any way as this man always recited Sura Al-Mulk." Thus, it (the punishment) approaches him from his chest (stomach) side, yet his chest prevents the punishments from happening by saying: "You cannot harm or punish me as this man always recited Sura Al-Mulk." Then, the punishment of the grave turns to his head, but his head prevents this punishment from happening. He says, "You cannot punish me because this man always recited Sura Al-Mulk." This Sura is indeed called the preventer that prevents the occurrence of punishment. It is stated in Torah that whoever recites Surah Al Mulk at night, he would be doing excellent acts. (Hadith scholar Al Munthiri declares this narration to be saheeh (authentic) or hasan (good) in his book Al Targheeb Wal Tarheeb, Volume 2, p. 320. Sheikh Albani also affirms the authenticity of this narration in Saheeh Al Targheeb, hadith no. 1475)

Here, Abdullah ibn Mas'ud is saying that the Torah says that whoever recites Sura Al Mulk (Surah 67) will protect him from the punishment of the grave. I and everyone reading this article know very well that nowhere is this found in today's Torah. It means that it was removed, thus indicating textual corruption. 

Let us read the following narration:

حدثنا يحيى بن موسى البلخي ثنا أبو أسامة قال مجالد أخبرنا عن عامر عن جابر بن عبد الله قال: جاءت اليهود برجل وامرأة منهم زنيا فقال ائتوني بأعلم رجلين منكم فأتوه بابني صوريا فنشدهما كيف تجدان أمر هذين في التوراة قالا نجد في التوراة إذا شهد أربعة أنهم رأوا ذكره في فرجها مثل الميل في المكحلة رجما قال فما يمنعكما أن ترجموهما قالا ذهب سلطاننا فكرهنا القتل فدعا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بالشهود فجاؤوا بأربعة فشهدوا أنهم رأوا ذكره في فرجها مثل الميل في المكحلة فأمر رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم برجمهما       

The Jews brought [to the Prophet (peace be upon him) a man and a woman among them who committed adultery. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Bring the two most knowledgeable men from amongst you."  The Jews brought the two sons of Suriyya, and the Prophet (peace be upon him) asked them, "What punishment do you find in the Torah regarding these two?" They said, "In the Torah, we find that if four men testify that they saw his male organ in her womb, similar to when the eyeliner is inserted inside the eyeliner container; in this case they are stoned."  The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "What made you stop stoning?" They said, "Our kingship (meaning Jewish) was taken from us, and we hated killing." The Messenger of Allah asked for four witnesses, and they brought four men who testified that they saw his penis in her womb like the eyeliner is inserted in the eyeliner container. The Messenger of Allah ordered that the two [adulterers] be stoned. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Hadith no. 3862, Source. Sheikh Albani declared this hadith authentic in Sunan Abu Dawud, hadith no.4452)

Indeed, we do find in the Old Testament today that adulterers are to be killed (Leviticus 20:10). But nowhere do we find anything about four witnesses (interestingly, Islam teaches this) or any eyeliner.

This is indirect proof that this section of the Torah has been distorted.

The following narration tells us about a conversation that Umar ibn Al Khattab once had with a Jew:

ان مسلما ويهوديا اختصما إلى عمر رضى الله عنه فرأى الحق لليهودي فقضى له عمر به فقال له اليهودي والله لقد قضيت بالحق فضربه عمر بالدرة قال وما يدريك فقال اليهودي والله إنا نجد في التوراة ليس قاضي يقضي بالحق إلا كان عن يمينه ملك وعن شماله ملك يسددانه ويوفقانه للحق ما دام مع الحق عرجا وتركاه

Sa'eed ibn Al Museeb narrated that a Muslim and a Jew had a dispute, so they went to Umar bin Al-Khattab to judge the dispute between them. Umar bin Al-Khattab ruled in favor of the Jew, which upon the Jew said: "I swear by Allah, you have judged with the Truth". Umar bin Al-Khattab hit the man with a stick with a small ball on the top of it when he heard him saying that. Then Umar bin Al-Khattab asked the Jew, "How do you know that I judged with the truth?" The Jew replied, "We find in the Torah that whoever judges according to the truth two angels from his right and left sides assist him to find the truth. Yet, they will leave him if he goes astray from the truth. (Al Munzhiri declared this narration to be authentic in Al Targheeb Wal Tarheeb, Volume 3, p. 188)

The Jew spoke about the two angels on the sides of the human being. Where is this to be found in today's Torah? It is not. This means it was removed. Thus indicating textual corruption.  

The following narration says the story of how Abdullah ibn Salam accepted Islam: 

Saheeh Bukhari 

Volume 6, Book 60, Number 7:
'Abdullah bin Salam heard the news of the arrival of Allah's Apostle (at Medina) while he was on a farm collecting its fruits. So he came to the Prophet and said, 'I will ask you about three things which nobody knows unless he be a prophet. Firstly, what is the first portent of the Hour? What is the first meal of the people of Paradise? And what makes a baby look like its father or mother?'. The Prophet said, 'Just now Gabriel has informed me about that.' 

'Abdullah said, 'Gabriel?' The Prophet said, 'Yes.' 'Abdullah said, 'He, among the angels is the enemy of the Jews.' On that the Prophet recited this Holy Verse:-- 'Whoever is an enemy to Gabriel (let him die in his fury!) for he has brought it (i.e. Qur'an) down to your heart by Allah's permission.' (2.97) Then he added, 'As for the first portent of the Hour, it will be a fire that will collect the people from the East to West. And as for the first meal of the people of Paradise, it will be the caudite (i.e. extra) lobe of the fish liver. And if a man's discharge proceeded that of the woman, then the child resembles the father, and if the woman's discharge proceeded that of the man, then the child resembles the mother.'   

Now, Abdullah ibn Salam learned of the Torah and was convinced of the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him) after receiving the answers to those questions. Surely, Abdullah ibn Salam would only have known this from the Torah since he did not follow any other divine book. However, we don't find the answers that the Prophet (peace be upon him) gave to Abdullah ibn Salam in the Bible today. Therefore, it must have been removed, thus indicating textual corruption.

So here we saw several examples of what Muslims back in the Prophet's (peace be upon him) time would refer to as "Torah," and it wasn't the Old Testament.

Derik Adams said:

or it implies that corrupted versions contain explicit authentic prophecies.

My Response: 

As Derik knows and as I explained the Muslim position very well in my previous article, I believe that as long as the Bible contains corruption, it could make the true statements in it unclear and vague. 

Thus, I believe the original prophecies are explicit and clear in the true undistorted Torah and Gospel. However, these prophecies are not explicit when used with the other corrupted verses.  

Derik Adams said:

If the latter then Zawadi has falsified the commentaries he provided, and his agreement with these commentaries, since no editing of Muhammad's predictions had been made (which ironically also proves an authentic Injeel and Torah exist).

My Response:

Derik is under the false impression that the commentaries I cited in my previous article state that all of the prophecies of Muhammad (peace be upon him) have been removed. That is not what they are saying. They are saying that prophecies were removed, but not necessarily all of them, as Imam Razi makes clear:

Imam ar-Razi said:   

The third piece of evidence is with reference to what is maintained in the Torah and gospels concerning the Prophethood of Muhammad. The objection to this evidence (on the Jewish and Christian side) is whether you (Muslims) say that the description of Muhammad was written in these books in detail, namely that Allah Almighty made manifest that he shall come in the coming years and such and such country, a person whose description shall be such and such, and so know you that he is my messenger. On the one hand, they say: 'No, but rather Allah has merely referred to him briefly, without specification due to time, place or personality.' And so if you hold on to the first claim, it false and faulty: (O, you Muslims.)" (Fakhar ad-Din ar-Razi, Muhassal Afkar Al-Mutaqadimin Wal Mut'akhrin (Cairo, Maktabat al-Kuliyyat al-Azhariyya) p. 211 and Fakhr ar-Razi, Mafatih Al-Ghayb, Cairo, Dar al-Ghad al-'Arabi, 1412 A.H. 1991 A.D. vol.3, pp.186 f, vol.9, 233, cited here) 

Derik Adams said:

Also if the former then we have copies of an authentic Torah and Injeel still in existence which falsifies this claim:

My Response:

This response is not good enough. This only proves that there were Jews who appealed to the Old Testament at that time, but not necessarily all of them. Surely, these Muslims and Jews were getting the previously cited Torah and Gospel verses from somewhere, and we know for sure that it wasn't the Bible (unless the Bible got corrupted later, but we don't favor this position).

Also, it is possible that they could have received this information through oral traditions from the minority of righteous believers who knew the original contents of the Torah and Gospel even though they didn't have it with them in textual form. This is a possibility that Derik cannot disprove.

Derik could reply by saying that I must provide manuscript evidence for this assertion. My answer would be, "No, I don't. I give my religion the benefit of the doubt on this specific point because I see that the early Muslims and Jews were appealing to another Torah and Gospel, and I don't need manuscript evidence to convince myself of this. You have no argument as long as you can't disprove it."

Derik Adams said:

First, it is impossible for Jewish and Christian generations to know the teachings of the Torah and Gospel without authentic copies of it. If as Bassam suggests they had textually corrupted copies, (like we also do) then this argument will not work on either generation, as we both have the same problem. 

My Response:

This is a comment with severe implications that demands evidence. It is well known that the oral Torah of the Jews was passed down from generation to generation until eventually being put down in textual form around two centuries after the birth of Christ. If they can pass down their oral Torah, then why couldn't the true righteous believers do the same with the true Torah? 

Secondly, who is saying that they didn't have authentic copies of it? It is possible that they did, but in minimal quantities, and were preserved by a select few people. They didn't want to go for mass distribution out of fear, most likely as Ibn Abbass said:

كانت ملوك بعد عيسى بن مريم عليه الصلاة والسلام بدلوا التوراة والإنجيل وكان فيهم مؤمنون يقرؤون التوراة قيل لملوكهم ما نجد شتما أشد من شتم يشتمونا هؤلاء إنهم يقرؤون { ومن لم يحكم بما أنزل الله فأولئك هم الكافرون } وهؤلاء الآيات مع ما يعيبونا به في أعمالنا في قراءتهم فادعهم فليقرؤوا كما نقرأ وليؤمنوا كما آمنا فدعاهم فجمعهم وعرض عليهم القتل أو يتركوا قراءة التوراة والإنجيل إلا ما بدلوا منها

Narrated by Sa'eed ibn Jubair: Ibn Abbaas said: The kings after the time of Jesus the son of Mary peace be upon him substituted the Torah and Gospel and there used to be amongst them believers who were reading the Torah. It was said to the kings: We do not find an insult greater than the insult of those that read "And those who do not rule by what Allah has revealed, they are disbelievers," and their recitation of these similar kinds of verses which they shame us within our daily activities. So tell them to read just as we read and let them believe just as we believe.' So the king summoned them and gathered them together. He proposed either death to them or that they leave the recitation of the Torah and Gospel except what they substitute in place of it. [(Sunan Al Nisaa'i, hadith no. 5305), Source, Sheikh Nasr Al Deen Al Albani authenticated this narration in Sunan Al Nisaa'i, hadith no. 5400]

So here we see that Ibn Abbaas talks about how the kings of the past used to force people to switch to their corrupted version of the scriptures. This clearly indicates that their scriptures contained false writings; thus, the scriptures used by the masses were textually corrupted. Since the kings forced the people to switch to their scriptures or had them killed, the true uncorrupted scriptures became lost or possibly remained safe with a very small number of people. Still, it seems clear that the corrupted copies were distributed more widely.  

Derik Adams said:

Of course another problem is the confession of the contemporary generation of Christians in Muhammad's time having direct knowledge of the Torah and Injeel, which of course is completely impossible for our generation to have;

My Response: 

No, it is not; we are showing you the prophecies now on your face. You are choosing to reject them! 

Derik Adams said: 

thus if Allah is going to show equality and fairness, both generations would be provided with the same proofs and evidences since that is the Biblical standard as well as the Quranic standard for the confirmation of prophet(s). 

My Response: 

Ha! Talk about a self-referentially incoherent statement (Derik's second fallacy). Notice that Derik said: 

both generations would be provided with the same proofs and evidences since that is the Biblical standard 

Derik has done an excellent job refuting all those Christian missionaries who appeal to the historicity of Jesus' resurrection as evidence for Christianity. According to Derik's logic, we can argue back, saying, "How come the early generation of Christians got to see Jesus with their own eyes after he was crucified? That is not fair! Why could they get that kind of evidence while we over here 2000 years later do not?!" 

Derik's logic lends support to atheists such as Richard Carrier, who stated: 

But the point goes even deeper still. An event only observed by a few men can only be a proof, as Thomas Paine wrote, for those men. It can never be a proof for all mankind, who did not observe it. No amount of argument can convince me to trust a 2000 year-old second-hand report, over what I see, myself, directly, here and now, with my own eyes. (Richard Carrier, Why I Don't Buy the Ressurection Story, Source) 

Thank you, Derik! What a great "apologist" you are! How about you join my website and write for me? 

Derik Adams said: 

Further, if Allah is going to be just he is going to have to only hold that generation accountable for their unbelief in Muhammad as they are the only ones that have scriptural vindication for his prophethood.

My Response: 

Islam offers different kinds of evidence for its truth claims to different generations. For instance, the argument from literary excellence (see herehere, and here) would have been sufficient evidence for the Arabs during Muhammad's (peace be upon him) time. 

Today, we argue scientific accuracy and prophecies. 

However, the main argument of Islam is that it appeals to the pure natural disposition of the human being regarding its true and pure concept of monotheism. This is enough evidence for anyone. You don't necessarily need "scriptural vindication" as evidence to convince someone that something is true. 

Derik Adams said:

We begin by seeing Deut. 18:13-14 addressing Israel (as does v. 15), then verses 16 and 17 explain the purpose of verse 15 and begin to even quote Israel and Yahweh's agreement with the nation. It turns out because of the immediate needs of the nation, they were not able to communicate with the LORD since Moses was not allowed to enter into the promise land, they required an additional successor which would "be like Moses" (vv. 15 and 18) who would mediate and hear the voice of the LORD on behalf of Israel. 

My Response:

Yes ,and in my previous article I argued that this couldn't refer to Jesus: 

Secondly, doesn't David realize that this argument hurts Christianity? 

Deuteronomy 18 says that the Israelites don't want to speak to God directly anymore, however Christians believe that God came in the flesh and spoke to the Israelites directly! So how on earth could Jesus be the one who fulfills Deuteronomy 18 as Christians claim? If Jesus is the fulfiller of Deuteronomy 18, then we cannot believe that Jesus is God! 

If David is planning to reply back and say something like "Well no you see, Deuteronomy 18 is really trying to say that the Jews don't want to speak to God the Father, thus God the Son came instead" then I urge him to really think about who is the one distorting scripture here. 

And Derik didn't bother refuting that. Oh yeah, I forgot that it is supposed to be so "obvious" to everyone that it is a bad argument.

Derik Adams said:

Verse 16 and 17 clearly have Yahweh agreeing with Israel that the nation was not able to hear the Lord any longer and actually responds with the promise of raising up a new prophet like Moses for them in this very chapter. For the entire story read Deut. 5 (which is where verses 16 and 17 are referring to) and then we will know why Yahweh is sending the prophet to Israel in the first place; instead of making up utter nonsense like Zawadi has by implying brethren in this context could mean some distant relatives of Israel. 

My Response: 

If anything is "utter nonsense," it is this sorry excuse for a response. 

How does God wanting to send a Prophet to the Israelis to communicate with them necessarily imply that the Prophet must be from among the Israelites? Why isn't it possible that God sends a non-Israelite Prophet to the Israelites to be the mediator between them and God? 

Derik Adams said: 

In fact, Zawadi needs to explain how God can forget about his promise for Israel while Deuteronomy and its entire focus is about the Torah given to Israel and their status and history with God and their future and then suddenly magically promise a prophet to a completely irrelevant party of people that have nothing to do with Deuteronomy whatsoever? Is this the level of shocking eisegesis that Zawadi is willing to maintain? 

My Response:

Derik said: "and then suddenly magically promise a prophet to a completely irrelevant party of people that have nothing to do with Deuteronomy whatsoever?" 

It seems like we need to take Derik to a first-grade Islamic studies school where they will teach him that Muhammad (peace be upon him), according to Islam, WAS SENT TO ALL MANKIND, INCLUDING THE ISRAELITES. So, God raising up a prophet for them does not necessitate this Prophet coming out from their tribe.

 Derik Adams said: 

Verses 21 and 22 presuppose that God will actually send a succession of these Prophets for Israel, God gives Israel instructions on how to determine if "a Prophet" (hence the generic multiplicity of such prophets) said something from God. Since again it is specifically Israel asking and God answering Israel, we see that the context is purely "how should Israel manage false prophets?"

My Response: 

Derik's arguments have no substance. He is not showing why it is impossible that it is Muhammad (peace be upon him) being predicted. 

He is saying that God gave Israel instructions on determining if a prophet is true. SO WHAT? How is that evidence that the Prophet must come from their tribe?

Derik Adams said:

Again the entire chapter is directed towards Israel alone, including the prophecy and how to test prophets themselves.

 My Response: 

Yes, in this verse, God is speaking to the Israelites. SO WHAT? How is that evidence that the Prophet must come from their tribe?

 Derik Adams said:

Also we have the clear passages in Deuteronomy where Deut. 18:18 is partially fulfilled in Joshua:

And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the LORD commanded Moses. And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, in all the signs and wonders, which the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land, and in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses shewed in the sight of all Israel. (Deuteronomy 34:9-12)

So maybe one could in Zawadi's eisegesis pretend Deut. 18:18 may refer to a non-Israelite faction but in the immediate and neighboring contexts of Deuteronomy all statements in Deut. 18 are referring to Israel and the prophecy has already been set up for Joshua and a succession of future prophets being sent to Israel, ultimately ending in their very own Messiah.

My Response: 

Deuteronomy 18:18 is about Prophet (singular), not Prophets. What does this have to do with anything? 

Derik Adams said:

Notice Zawadi is aware of the fact that "you" throughout Deut 18:13-22 is addressing Israel, and he has taken up the allegedly Christian methodology of saying "you" doesn't mean "you" but it means "thousands of years away in completely different circumstances, culture, language etc".

Jochen Katz pointed out to me the misrepresentation of the Christian position Zawadi is making here:

"But in reality, there is a huge difference in the two texts, and the way Zawadi wants to handle it. In the text in Deuteronomy, the YOU refers to Israel as a identifiable group, the nation. It does not mean "exactly and only those people who are standing there RIGHT NOW", but it is understood that there will always be some members dying and some new members be born into Israel, but this promise still holds to Israel as a nation.

The reason to reject this as a prophecy of Muhammad is not that he comes "too late" but that he is not "of Israel". So, Zawadi's time distance issue is a strawman. It is not the issue.

My Response:

It appears that Jochen is the one attacking strawman. I never said that Christians said that Deuteronomy 18 does not refer to Muhammad (peace be upon him) because he came "too late." I was referring to John 14:17 and in specific to David Wood's argument when he said:

Fifth, Jesus tells the disciples that the Comforter was already with them. While the Holy Spirit was with Jesus' disciples, Muhammad wasn't born for more than five centuries after this prophecy and therefore couldn't have been with them.

So, I replied and said:

Someone may object to the fact that Prophet Muhammad's teachings weren't around at that time and Jesus said "dwelleth with YOU" and that this shows he was speaking to the disciples.

However, this shows the misunderstanding of the use of the word 'you'. Christians have no problem claiming that Deuteronomy 18:18 refers to Jesus even though the verse says 'you' to a specific group of people at least a thousand years before the birth of Jesus. So as we can see the usage of the word 'you' could seem to be referring to future generations to come.

So, I was only appealing to Deuteronomy 18 as an example to show that even when "You" is being said, it could refer to others coming later. I wasn't saying that Christians said that Deuteronomy 18 does not refer to Muhammad (peace be upon him) because he comes "too late."

So Jochen better understands my position next time before he falsely accuses me of attacking a straw man.

Secondly, just because it was said to the Israelites that the Prophet would be sent to "You" (i.e., them) does not necessitate the Prophets coming from the Israelites. It only necessitates that the Prophet is sent to the Israelites. This obviously does not mean that the Prophet will be sent exclusively to the Israelites. If that is the case, then Christians are forced to either:

1) Confess that Deuteronomy 18:18 is not fulfilled in Jesus


2) Confess that Jesus was not sent for the entire world but only to the Israelites

Of course, the Christian will choose neither alternative since it will compromise on him going against some articles of his faith. Therefore, Christians would agree that since Jesus was sent to the entire world, this would satisfy Deuteronomy's requirement that he be sent to the Israelites. Muslims will say the same thing since they also believe that Muhammad (peace be upon him) was sent to the world.

Derik Adams quoting Jochen Katz said:

Moreover, as you already pointed out, there is a multiplicity of prophets in view in Deuteronomy, which need to be tested. The Deut. passage covers the wider future of Israel.

The passage in John is different, it speaks very specifically about the group of disciples standing in front of him. Jesus is leaving THEM, and he will send THEM the comforter instead. Jesus spoke figuratively at some times, but not always, and there is no indication in the text that he is speaking figuratively here. And he does not speak about "teaching" (the teaching of Jesus was already with them, it didn't need to come to them in the future), but he speaks about a person to replace the person of Jesus who was with them.

Zawadi's interpretation is simply contrieved and unnatural."

My Response: 

Jochen has not shown us why, in Deuteronomy, we must understand that "you" may refer to future generations, but not in John's gospel. He is only uttering statements without proving them. 

He has not shown how my interpretation is "contrieved and unnatural."? He only said: 

the teaching of Jesus was already with them, it didn't need to come to them in the future 

I really don't know what he is addressing here. I never said that Jesus had told his disciples that his teachings would come in the future. So, if I never said that, why is Jochen saying what he is saying? 

Derik Adams said: 

Adding further to what Mr Katz has said: God isn't giving the impression he is going to "postpone" his promised prophet for over 2500 years and then send a prophet for the Edomites or the Ishmaelites. Over-all it is not an ambigious text, God is sending a series of prophets to Israel and it isn't a thousand years away, it starts after Moses specifically for the Promised Land which is the entire focus and context of Deuteronomy anyhow! 

My Response:

 Muslims don't believe that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was only sent to the Arabs. If they did, then Deut 18 can't be referring to him. He was sent to all mankind, including the Israelites. 

Derik Adams said:

Again Zawadi had said:

"Christians have no problem interpreting the suffering servant of Isaiah 53 to not be referring to the state of Israel, even though the passages before it clearly were. Similarly, I have no problem with stating that the word "brethren" could be referring to non-Israelites even though the word was referring to Israelites a few verses earlier."

Notice that if Zawadi is consistent (with his own appeal to the Christian methodology) he either must:

A) Accept Isaiah 53 is about the Messiah (i.e. his suffering and death being essential to his coming, contrary to the teachings of Islam)and Deuteronomy 18 is referring to Mohammed , or

B) Reject the Christian methodology used for interpreting Isaiah 53 and therefore reject Deuteronomy as referring to Muhammad.

Zawadi cannot have it both ways.

My Response: 

Here, Derik commits the fallacy of false dilemma (his third fallacy) and truly exposes his incompetence. 

I only appealed to Isaiah 53 as an example to show that since Christians are willing to interpret Isaiah 53 to be referring to Jesus despite that in the several chapters before it and after it refers to the state of Israel, then why not be willing to accept the possibility that the term "brethren" in verse 18 of Deut 18 could be referring to non-Israelites, even though "brethren" was referring to Israelites earlier in the chapter? 

If I were to reject the notion that Isaiah 53 does not apply to Jesus because the previous chapters refer to the state of Israel, then Derik would be right in pointing out my inconsistency. However, I never said such a thing. There are several other reasons why Isaiah 53, in my opinion, does not refer to Jesus 

Derik Adams said: 

Well it isn't at all that hard to see why. What a complete and utter mess Zawadi has put himself in. I can see why he wants to stay away from this argument, because this is possibly one of the worst arguments Muslims have ever used for the validity of Muhammad, but at the same time, according to the Biblical and Quranic standards, it is the only way of verifying Muhammad as a true prophet, which is the dilemma Muslims have. 

My Response: 

Muslims, as I stated in my article, could at least provide a logical reason as to why the prophecies in the Bible referring to Muhammad (peace be upon him) are vague. But what excuses do Christians have? Their most respected Christian apologist, Dr. William Lane Craig, had to admit that the Old Testament prophecies regarding Jesus's resurrection are vague: 

Early Christians were convinced that Jesus' resurrection, like his crucifixion, was, in the words of the old tradition quoted by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15. 3-5, "in accordance with the Scriptures." In Luke's story of Jesus' appearance on the road to Emmaus, the risen Jesus chastises the two travelers: " 'Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into his glory?' And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself" (Luke 24. 26-27). Similarly, in John's account of Peter and the Beloved Disciple's inspection of the empty tomb, John reflects that they did not believe in Jesus' resurrection until finding the tomb empty, save for the abandoned grave clothes, because "as yet they did not know the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead" (John 20.9).

The difficulty is that when we ask, "What Scriptures are they thinking of?", we come up with sparse results. Hosea 6.2 ' "After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him" - has been suggested because it mentions the "third day" motif found in the old formula cited by Paul. But Hosea 6.2 is never explicitly cited by any New Testament author, much less applied to Jesus' resurrection. In the apostolic sermons in the Acts of the Apostles, we find Psalm 16.10 interpreted in terms of Jesus' resurrection: "For thou dost not give me up to Sheol, or let thy godly one see the Pit." But if we look at the principal Old Testament passage cited in the Gospels with respect to Jesus' resurrection, we find the story of Jonah and the whale. "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" (Matthew 12.40).

Now the problem for the theory in question is that nobody, especially a first century Jew, reading the story of Jonah and the whale would think that this has anything whatsoever to do with Jesus' burial and resurrection! Similarly for Psalm 16.10; this has to do with David's confidence that God will not allow him to see defeat and death. And as for Hosea 6.2, this has nothing to do with resurrection of the dead but with the restoration of the national fortunes of Israel.

The point is that no one who did not already have a belief in Jesus' resurrection would find in these Scriptures any impetus to think that Jesus had been raised from the dead. To this we may add the fact that in Jewish belief the resurrection of the dead was always an event at the end of the world involving all the people, an event which obviously had not yet taken place. The problem many people, even some scholars, have is not being able to put themselves in the shoes of a first century Jew confronted with Jesus' crucifixion - they tend to look at the disciples' situation through the rearview mirror of 2,000 years of Christian theology, and so the idea of his rising from the dead seems natural to them, when in fact it is an anachronism.

Once the disciples came to believe in Jesus' resurrection, then they could go to the Scriptures looking for verses to validate their belief and experience, and passages like Jonah and the whale and Psalm 16.10 could be re-interpreted in light of Jesus' resurrection. But to think that the belief in Jesus' resurrection was derived from the Old Testament is to put the cart before the horse; it gets things exactly backwards. (Belief in Jesus' Resurrection Derived from the OT?Source)  

Notice how Dr. Craig candidly admits that the prophecy of Jesus' supposed dying and rising is not clearly taught in the Old Testament. This shows that Christians can only interpret (more like distort) the Old Testament so that it can show this. 

How come the Jews of today don't see the clear and explicit so-called prophecies of Jesus in the Old Testament? Go here to see why. 

I don't know what excuses Christians could come up with for the vague prophecies in the Old Testament since they don't believe the Old Testament is corrupted as we Muslims do. 

That means that Christians like Derik are the ones who are actually in an "utter mess." 

We advise Derik to get a little more educated and learn the fallacies in logic to avoid them if he wants to continue exchanging arguments like this.



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